Courses of Study

Jewish Studies
See course descriptions for this department or program 

Director, Associate Professor Elisa Narin van Court
Program Steering Committee and Faculty: Professors Raffael Scheck (History) and Robert Weisbrot (History); Associate Professors Elisa Narin van Court (English) and Carleen Mandolfo (Religious Studies); Assistant Professor David Freidenreich (Religious Studies); Visiting Instructor Raymond Krinsky (Jewish Chaplain)

Program Affiliated Faculty: Professors Guilain Denoeux (Government) and David Suchoff (English); Associate Professor Natalie Harris (English); Assistant Professor Audrey Brunetaux (French); Visiting Assistant Professor Phillip Silver (Music)

The Jewish Studies Program is an academic program affiliated with the Division of Interdisciplinary Studies. The program seeks to acquaint students with the breadth of Jewish culture, to introduce them to life and culture in the modern state of Israel, and, because Hebrew has been the primary vehicle of Jewish expression in Israel and in the Diaspora, to help them attain a working knowledge of the Hebrew language. Through the minor in Jewish studies, the program offers students an opportunity to take courses in the following areas of Jewish studies: history, literature and thought, Israeli society and politics, and Hebrew. The interdisciplinary nature of Jewish studies allows students to take courses in different departments, including history, religious studies, English, and government. Though a major in Jewish studies is not offered, interested students are encouraged to consult the director about an independent major.

Requirements for the Minor in Jewish Studies

A minimum of six courses, including two core courses (Religious Studies 181 and 182) and four other courses in Jewish studies selected from the following list. Students are strongly encouraged to study Hebrew and should consult the program director and Rabbi Krinsky for more information concerning classes. Students may count up to two courses in Hebrew toward the four elective courses required for the minor.

Successful completion of the minor requires a 2.00 average for all requirements above. None of the required courses may be taken satisfactory/unsatisfactory.

Courses listed below are described in the appropriate department sections of this catalogue.

Courses approved for the Minor in Jewish Studies
  • English 
    • 115j Holocaust Lessons
    • 349  Modern Jewish Writing
    • 423 Jews in Literature: Medieval to Modern
  • French
    • 376 Shadows of the Past: Remembering Vichy France and the Holocaust
  • Government 
    • 251 Israelis and Palestinians: Conflict and Accommodation
    • 252 Politics of the Middle East
  • Hebrew 
    • 125 Beginning Hebrew I
    • 126 Beginning Hebrew II
    • 127 Intermediate Hebrew
  • History 
    • 421 Research Seminar: Debating the Nazi Past
  • Music
    • 121 Entartete (Degenerate) Musik
  • Religious Studies 
    • 143 Introduction to Hebrew Scriptures
    • 181 Conceptions of Jews and Judaism
    • 182 Jews, Judaism, and the Modern World
    • 186 God After Auschwitz: Post-Holocaust Theology
    • 197 Introduction to the Talmud
    • 219 Texts of Terror: Violence and the Religions of the Book
    • 282 The Making of Judaism
    • 297 The Apocalyptic Imagination
    • 297j Topics in Maine's Jewish History
    • 322 Food and Religious Identity
    • 382 Abraham in the Abrahamic Religions
For a comprehensive list of courses approved for the Jewish studies minor and courses offered in the 2009-2010 academic year, refer to the Jewish Studies Web site.